Van Cortlandt Park

Van Cortlandt Park

Van Cortlandt House Museum - Photo by Daniel Chazin Van Cortlandt House Museum - Photo by Daniel Chazin Along the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail - Photo by Daniel Chazin Along the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail - Photo by Daniel Chazin Van Cortlandt Lake - Photo by Daniel Chazin Van Cortlandt Lake - Photo by Daniel Chazin

This loop hike passes the historic Van Cortlandt House Museum, follows the abandoned Putnam rail line and the Old Croton Aqueduct, and goes by the scenic Van Cortlandt Lake.

40.889574, -73.898324

At the entrance to the 242nd Street station on the east side of Broadway (opposite the overpass), descend a short stairway into the park and turn left onto a wide path. After passing a restroom building on the left and green buildings that surround the park’s pool on the right, you’ll come to the Van Cortlandt House Museum (open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on weekends from 11...

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Trip Reports

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September 12, 2017
New ramp is open; hike can once again be completed as described

In May 2017, a new ADA-compliant ramp was opened at the intersection of the Major Deegan Expressway with the Moshulu Parkway. This ramp replaces a deteriorated stone staircase that had been closed for several years. During the period when the stairway was closed, it was impossible to complete this hike as described.  Now that the ramp replacing the staircase has opened, it is once again possible to complete this delightful loop hike, which incorporates two historic rights-of-way in Van Cortlandt Park.

Daniel Chazin
September 15, 2015
Sidewalk and stairway are temporarily closed
Yes, unfortunately you are correct that the sidewalk along the Major Deegan Expressway and the stairway leading down to the lake are closed for repairs.  I have been informed that the closing will last for about two years.  To the best of my knowledge, there is no alterantive route to bypass the construction area, which means that the hike cannot be completed until the sidewalk is reopened.  It is really unfortunate that this very attractive loop hike will not be accessible for this long period of time.  Thank you for bring this to our attention.  I will be updating the hike description to make this clear.
Daniel Chazin
September 14, 2015
Nice hike in the city but outdated instructions
I found this hike to be a very nice one as a first hike for my 5 years old son and my wife, it's in the city, accessible by public transportation, a loop and it gives the feeling. I printed the written instruction and started following them and everything was clear and perfect and we enjoyed the hike up to the point that said "The path soon bears left and climbs to the Major Deegan Expressway, where it follows the sidewalk across a bridge that spans the Mosholu Parkway. The bridge offers broad west-facing views over Van Cortlandt Lake, directly below, and Riverdale in the distance." The path that climbs the Major Degan Expressway was closed and there were no other signs showing an alternative route back to the park and it wasn't an option to follow the same way we can from as it was too far for my son to walk that distance, I started looking at my maps and figures out that we can walk back to the T intersection and take left instead of right until we reach the Major Degan Expressway and walk on the side walk until reaching that bridge and we did that, however after walking for a while on the expressway we found that the side walk was also closed and we found ourself at the end walking on the expressway !!! I carried my son on my back hoping it will be a short distance until we reach the bridge and are able to get back into the part, it was scary and cars were speeding beside, until a kind bus driver stopped for us saying that it's too dangerous to walk like this (And it was) and he kindly took us with him to a safe point were we can access the part. It wasn't a pleasant end of the hike due to the outdated instructions and the lake of providing an alternate route to the hikers. I though of sharing the experience so that others can read it and take care and may be organizers and check and update the instructions for the future hikers who might want to try this decent hike.
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